So I have this Discord server called "Server Studio" that I aspired to be some sort of coworking space or a place to grow for creatives. But after two months, it's just soooo quiet in there. There's just a few people participating — my guess is around 10 — in a Discord server with over 200 people.
This doesn't throw away the value that some people are sharing there, like critiques on works in progress, or advice being given to other creatives, or a few opportunities and resources here and there.
I must say, that I've tried making it alive by offering paying for people's software (we're talking the Affinity suite, Clip Studio Paint, Procreate) or creative assets (like fonts, brushes, Photoshop plug-ins) in exchange of giving a talk or workshop for the community, and by hosting watch parties of shows or movies.
And still, nothing worked.
Here's what's on my mind right now.
Before I talk about the Discord, I must mention that I thought of livestreaming first, and from there, make a Discord for everyone who watches my stream. So let's start with the stream.
I always thought of doing a graphic design stream because I was inspired by the "Funniest Graphic Designer", elliotisacoolguy. While his stream is a place to hang out and design, I see my stream as more of a serious "coworking" stream. Instead of client work (unless somebody's up for it), I'll be doing prompts.
Sadly, I just have been busy with having a freelance gig that is like a day job as well, so I can't really stream during my preferred hours (in the afternoon, Asian time).
Speaking of jobs, if anyone from the world of Web3 — more on that later, if you're not familiar with the term — is looking for a graphic designer or community manager, I just want you to know that I am here. (Please DM me 😭💀 )
Now on to the Discord. Of course, it was supposed to be an extension of the stream, so I thought of it as a place to work and grow from each other. Currently, there's a channel dedicated for sharing your weekly goals so that we can hold you accountable, a place to share helpful stuff (resources, opportunities, advice), and a place to share your work or wins in life.
I feel like not much "growing from each other" has happened in a wider scale, but more of "one-on-ones" which is also nice.
I've been exploring the space of Web3 for almost a year now. From NFTs to DAOs, and what's more important for this post, social / community tokens.
If you already know wtf those are, go ahead and skip this part.
From my understanding, community tokens are like the loyalty points that you earn from your favorite brands, EXCEPT these are more like your ownership of the community you are a part of (or stocks of a company). You can earn these tokens for whatever reason, or spend these tokens like money for whatever the community allows, or hold on to them. Each community with a token has its own rules.
Here's some examples that I find super interesting that can maybe give you a clearer picture of the various ways these tokens can be used by a community.
Note: I am not a member of any of these communities... yet.
RAC is a producer and DJ who has been streaming lately on Twitch because of the pandemic.
To earn $RAC, you must be a subscriber to RAC's Patreon or Twitch.
For owning $RAC, you can have access to a private channel on Discord (just like the usual Twitch or Patreon subscriber perk), and get early access to promos, merch, or whatever.
Friends with Benefits is a private Discord server filled with people sharing ideas. To have access to the server, you MUST have 60 $FWB (as of writing) and apply to be a member.
To get the initial amount (60) that you're going to need to enter, you must exchange your Ethereum (cryptocurrency) into $FWB. This means that you are actually investing on yourself with that membership, and should at least maximize it.
BTW, FWB doesn't get your 60 tokens. You just have to have it in your crypto wallet.
As a member, I assume you get more $FWB by attending events, sharing ideas, or simply contributing however you can, even if it means helping in managing the community.
For owning $FWB, aside from the Discord server, you can have access to a shared Substack account, attend private events IRL, and more.
If you have enough tokens, you can even be a part of the decision-making process for the whole community. Majority (if not all) of these communities use these tokens as voting power as well (1 token = 1 vote).
For both communities, you can even spend your tokens by giving some to other people within or even outside the community.
Go offer talks or workshops, sell an album or artwork (NFT?!), do a commission, DO WHATEVER TF YOU WANT in exchange for tokens.
Treat it as money. Money is a social construct anyways, but here, WE make the rules. As long as a group of people considers that a token has value, you can spend it as well.
I think you can already guess what I'm planning on doing.
Yup, community tokens.
First thing that popped in my mind is if I will be making the server token-gated, or at least have a Free Tier.
I feel like the latter will still not make everyone in the server participate more. I know this because I am a part of one server with a Free Tier. So my mind is leaning more to having it all token-gated. But for how much?
I know for a fact that PHP 500 (about US$10+) is somehow a lot already (well, for me, it is). Maybe that could work? Maybe that's how much I can make the tokens worth when I make a pool in Uniswap? I honestly don't know how I'm going to put a price for my tokens. I'm betting it's how much ETH I'm putting on Uniswap, paired to my tokens. Anyways, the goal is to put it at around PHP 500 to get in the server.
Again, you're not giving the tokens to me. You're just showing that you have enough tokens to be in the server.
Once in, you can get more tokens by participating or giving value to the community (like giving advice, opportunities, resources, etc.)
Like FWB sharing a Substack account, I'm also thinking of having shared accounts to apps and websites that can foster creativity. Apps like Skillshare (learning), Canva (graphic design app), Mubi (movies), Perlego (educational books), are some that comes to mind.
Power for governance can also be given to people with a certain amount of tokens. Anyone can propose projects, and vote for who gets to enjoy it.
Example: Grant for artists who wants to sell printed merch in a store for a year. People with governance power vote on who gets the grant if only a few can be accommodated.
I'm also thinking of making my small library of design books available exclusive to community members. Maybe in the future, members with gov powers can even propose to have a budget dedicated just for the library, and pick which books should be bought.
Other stuff: Exclusive talks?! Exclusive workshops?! IDK!
To have continued participation, I'm also thinking of adapting the concept of Seasons where the minimum amount of tokens needed to enter or have a certain role (like governance) will rise regularly. This makes people inside the server need to participate or give value regularly as well so that they can earn enough tokens to maintain their access or role.
My goal is to make the server as a place for everyone to grow as a creative. I honestly can't do that alone, so I need help from people who have the same goal as I am.
To be fair, I honestly don't think I've done enough — even with the huge bounty for talks / workshops — to make it a place where a lot of people can talk and share ideas and knowledge.
This upcoming token-gated community will take a long time to put up as I need to learn a lot of things, see how other communities run theirs, and try out different apps that can make the experience easy especially for non-crypto people (which I assume is everyone else in my server.) 🥴
This also gives me more time to set-up more projects, align what I want to do with the server as it potentially transitions to a token-gated community, and see who are some people who could help me out in this journey.
If you are a part of my server, do let me know if you have any ideas in mind! If you're a part of the wonderful world of Web3, do let me know if I can reach out to you for help or something. 😅
If you want to join my Discord server, Server Studio, you may click here.
If you like what you just read, feel free to collect this post as an NFT! There will only be 25 editions, available at 0.005 ETH each.